May 7, 2017
READ: Genesis 4:1-10
If you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master (v.7).
Bill battled drug and alcohol addiction for years before gaining victory. From his experience, he’s identified four warning signs of impending relapse: isolation, internal feelings of discontent, frustration and anger, and delusional thinking.
Not all of us are recovering addicts, but we all face temptation in life. Thankfully, “when you are tempted, [God] will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13). There are times, however, when we don’t take His wise path.
Cain battled the temptation to sin. One of Adam and Eve’s sons, he grew to be a farmer while his brother Abel was a shepherd (Genesis 4:1-2). At harvest time, both brothers gave a sacrifice to the Lord, Cain from the crops he grew and Abel from the flock he tended. But something about Cain’s sacrifice offended God; perhaps he gave grudgingly or less than he could have. God accepted Abel and his sacrifice, but rejected Cain and his offering. This filled him with rage and despair (vv.3-5).
God told Cain that he and his sacrifice would have been accepted if he had been obedient. The Lord cautioned: “If you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (v.7). This was God’s “way out” for Cain, but he refused to take it, gave in to temptation and killed his brother (v.8).
When we humble ourselves before God, we become aware of the sin that can trip us up (Hebrews 12:1). We can’t master sinful desires in our own strength—only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we can resist them (Romans 8:5). May we pray and ask for the Spirit to give us what we need to resist temptation today.
—Ruth O’Reilly Smith
365-day plan: Esther 6:1-7:10
Read Romans 13:14 to see how to turn from temptation and evil desires.
Is sin crouching at the door of your heart? Why is it vital for you to seek the power of the Holy Spirit in resisting its temptations?